The All Blacks have again won hearts and minds at the Rugby World Cup, with Namibian players and staff lauding the team for their show of sportsmanship during - and after - the Pool B clash on Sunday.

Despite a sluggish start, the All Blacks thrashed the African minnows 71-9, to top their pool and all but secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

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Addressing the media after the match, Namibian head coach Phil Davies said the All Blacks were "fantastic".

"It was just really pleasing that what we talked about before the game we managed to do on the field against the best team in the world. The scoreboard's not very pretty at the end but I'm just so proud... we've come a long way.


"I think [they're earning the respect]. It was a great game of footy, as Steve [Hansen, All Blacks head coach] said and I'm proud of the way they played. The All Blacks are a fantastic team they play in a wonderful spirit and that's what the game's all about."

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Davies was pictured swapping jerseys with Hansen after the match.

The teams were also seen bowing to the packed Tokyo crowd shortly after the final whistle.

Fullback Ben Smith revealed how the All Blacks insisted on visiting the Namibian changing rooms to check in with their players, most of whom are still amateurs.

"It was a good demonstration of why you play footy - catching up with them after the game in the changing room," Smith said.

"Some of them have jobs that they work nine to five and I think they were just excited to get out there and be involved in a World Cup.

"That's the beauty of the game, to get in the changing room and to share a drink with them and have a bit of a yarn and a catchup on how they're enjoying the tournament and what it means to them to be here. It brings a bit of perspective to the game and what it's all about."


The All Blacks next face Italy in their final match in pool play, while Namibia clash with Canada in the battle for the wooden spoon in Pool B.